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Angus Brendan MacNeil (Scottish Gaelic: Aonghas Brianan MacNèill[2]) (born 21 July 1970) is the Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

Angus MacNeil
Official portrait of Angus Brendan MacNeil crop 2.jpg
Chair of the International Trade Select Committee
Assumed office
13 July 2016
Preceded byCommittee established
Chair of the Energy and Climate Change
Select Committee
In office
18 June 2015 – 13 July 2016
Preceded byTim Yeo
Succeeded byCommittee abolished
Member of Parliament
for Na h-Eileanan an Iar
In office
5 May 2005 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byCalum MacDonald
Succeeded byElection in progress
Majority1,007 (6.8%)
Personal details
Born (1970-07-21) 21 July 1970 (age 49)
Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Spouse(s)Jane MacNeil[1]
Alma materUniversity of Strathclyde
ProfessionCivil Engineer, reporter, teacher


MacNeil was educated at Castlebay Secondary School on the island of Barra and the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis before attending Strathclyde University where he played shinty[3] and in 1992 gained a degree in civil engineering [4]. After graduation he worked as a civil engineer for Morrison Construction and as a student reporter for the Gaelic section of BBC Radio Scotland. After qualifying as a teacher at Jordanhill College in 1996[citation needed], he then taught the first Gaelic Medium Class at Salen and Acharacle Primary Schools in Argyll on the Scottish mainland.

Unusually, MacNeil is a Roman Catholic representing a strongly Presbyterian parliamentary constituency.[5]

House of CommonsEdit

After being defeated by the Labour Party's David Stewart in Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber at the 2001 general election, he was elected in 2005 for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles), gaining the seat from Labour's Calum MacDonald.

In March 2006, MacNeil came to attention when he lodged a complaint with the Metropolitan Police regarding the Labour Party Cash for Peerages scandal. In April 2006, he and former "anti-corruption" MP Martin Bell wrote to prime minister, Tony Blair calling for all appointments to the House of Lords to be suspended in the wake of the scandal.[6] In November 2006 he won the Best Scot at Westminster section of the Scottish Politician of the Year awards for instigating the inquiry into possible abuse of the honours system.[7] On 17 November 2006 MacNeil had the highest bill for travel in 2006–07.[8] This is mainly due to the distance of his constituency from London as well as the dispersed geographical nature of the constituency. He also received awards from The Spectator magazine and the Political Studies Society for setting the political agenda in Britain during 2006. He is a member of the editorial board for political monthly Total Politics. MacNeil was re-elected to Parliament in 2010.

He has served on a number of parliamentary committees. In June 2015 he was appointed chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee [9]; in July 2016, chair of the International Trade Select Committee; and in October 2017, a member of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy. [10]

Outside of Parliament, he has also served as a member of the Advisory Board at Polar Research and Policy Initiative since February 2016.[11]

In July 2019 MacNeil criticized Tory leader candidate Boris Johnson for stating that learning English is essential for immigrants. MacNeil called English a "Germanic import" in contrast to indigenous Celtic languages.[12][13][14]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2007, the Sunday Mail reported MacNeil had "kissed and fondled" two girls aged 17 and 18 in a hotel room while his pregnant wife was in hospital, in 2005.[15] MacNeil said he bitterly regretted the incident and said he was angry it had diverted attention from the "substantial political issues" he had been pursuing. In a statement, MacNeil, then 36, apologised for the "embarrassment and hurt" caused to his family by his actions. In May 2016, MacNeil and his wife announced that they had separated; this followed reports that MacNeil had had an affair with a Westminster-based journalist, Serena Cowdy.[16]


  1. ^ Commons, House of. "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests - Part 2: Part 2".
  2. ^ "Tobar an Dualchais". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  3. ^ "MacNeil appeals for home support for shinty team". Stornoway Gazette. 13 May 2011. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Angus MacNeil MP, MP for Na H-Eileanan An Iar". Scottish National Party. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  5. ^ Ceridwen Lee (27 August 2015). "Fall in number of Catholic MPs in the House of Commons ahead of landmark debate on assisted dying". The Tablet. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  6. ^ "MacNeil presses Blair over honours". BBC News Online. 15 April 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  7. ^ "The SNP's Angus MacNeil was the Best Scot at Westminster for instigating an inquiry into possible abuse of the honours system.", The Herald
  8. ^ Morris, Nigel (26 October 2007). "MPs claim £88m expenses on top of the £60,675 each gets in salary". Independent. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Winning candidates for select committee Chairs announced". UK Parliament. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Angus Brendan MacNeil MP". UK Parliament.
  11. ^ "Angus MacNeil MP". The Polar Connection.
  12. ^ "Boris Johnson mocked by own sister over English language claim". Irish Examiner. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  13. ^ Barry, Ellen (6 July 2019). "Boris Johnson Says Immigrants to U.K. Should Be Forced to Learn English". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Boris Johnson cites Jews, Bangladeshis as immigrants that shaped British culture". Times of Israel. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Police probed MP spy allegations". BBC News Online. 10 April 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  16. ^ "SNP MPs Stewart Hosie and Angus MacNeil split from wives over alleged affairs with same woman". The Daily Telegraph. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2017.

External linksEdit